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DURBAN SUMMER PROGRAMME (article first published : 2003-12-14)

This summer, visitors to Durban can enjoy a fun-filled programme of sporting, leisure, arts and entertainment activities designed to enhance the relaxed atmosphere in the country’s premier holiday city. (Most of these can be found in the various pages of artSMart)

"A variety of exciting events have been planned for the summer holidays to cater for our local, national and international guests," says Chairman of Durban Africa, Paulos Ngcobo. "We have competitive and leisure sporting events, beach activities, and music, arts and culture showcases which span the south, north and central beach areas as well as inland to KwaMashu – catering for the wide range of fun-seekers to our city."

Umoja, the internationally acclaimed musical is a vibrant, colourful showcase of glorious sounds and fabulous dancing which journeys through the chapters of African music that have led to the rich contemporary beat of our modern sounds. The production opens in the Playhouse Opera on December 5 and runs until January 4, 2004, with performances on December 24, 26 and 31 (New Year's Eve).

One of the highlights will be the Liquifruit Sunsational Fashion Show which visits three locations over the season – from December 19 to 21 at Waterworld; then from December 26 to 28 on Umhlanga’s main beach and December 29 to 31 on Ballito’s main beach.

Once again the popular Isigcawu Festival, an arts festival in KwaMashu, is set to get feet tapping and folks dancing from December 15 to 21. The festival showcases the host of local talent to which Durban plays home. There is a broad variety of music (from isicathamiya and choral to gospel, maskandi, amahubo, Afro Jazz, Isigqi), with dance such as traditional Zulu, gumboot, pantsula, and contemporary promising a cultural feast for all.

On December 15 the Miss KwaMashu Beauty pageant takes place at the Ekhaya Multi-Art Centre. December 16 sees a concert in KwaMashu G Section featuring artists such as Malaika, Senyaka, Alaska and many more. On December 17 there is the Ishashalazi theatre competition also at the Ekhaya Centre and on January 2 there is a concert featuring Kabel, Maffikizolo and Mzekezeke.

The Festival once again will provide a colourful insight for tourists, local and international who visit KwaMashu to experience another side of Durban’s vibrant culture.

The Toti Festive Fiesta, which was a great hit on the beaches of Amazimtoti last year has been extended by two days when it returns from December 20 to 24. This vibey beach culture event focuses on fun activities such volleyball, beach soccer and touch rugby. There are fashion shows, beauty contests and talent shows offering exciting participative family fun for all.

The Durban Beach Sound Festival on North Beach from December 20 to January 2 will feature a range of beach games, and live entertainment with some of Durban’s top celebrities strutting their stuff making for a lively day out in the sun. This festival features music, comedy and dance in a colourful showcase of the hottest talent.

Music lovers will be pleased to hear that Durban Jazz Festival will be held on December 26 at Hazelmere Dam in Verulam north of Durban. The line-up for the festival features the cream of South Africa’s Jazz artists: Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Mafikizolo, Judith Sephuma, Swazi Dlamini, Sliq Angel and Sipho Gumede. These icons will supported by local band Eva, Tickets are R75 through Computicket or R90 at the gate.




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